Photo by Chris Montgomery  /


Since the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to stage large, in-person live events like The PPAI Expo 2021 without compromising the health and safety of exhibitors, attendees, participants and the community at large, PPAI will transition The PPAI Expo 2021 to a completely virtual live format in January under a new name: PPAI Expo Direct-2-You. PPAI announced the change in late September.

“With the transition to a virtual live event, we can deliver a unique experience to connect our members globally, give more people the opportunity to view new, trending products, expand their knowledge with exclusive education sessions, network with their promotional products community and make lasting business connections,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “This unprecedented time has generated an amazing amount of creativity and collaboration in business, and PPAI is responding in kind. Participants can expect the same quality and scope of event that have long been distinguishing attributes of The PPAI Expo.”

PPAI Expo Direct-2-You will deliver a trade show, education and networking opportunities to the promotional products industry in the comfort of participants’ homes and offices. It will be held online from January 11-14, 2021. Attendees will discover the latest and greatest products, attend quality industry education sessions, and engage with hundreds of exhibitor suppliers and business services, and be able to network with thousands of other distributors.

Bellantone adds, “While I will personally miss seeing everyone face to face, I’m excited about the transition to virtual because of the opportunity to reach the many members in our industry and around the world who would otherwise be unable to attend.”

From the very outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PPAI show management and the executive team, and the Association’s board of directors, have monitored and carefully considered its progress, and ongoing regulatory and travel restrictions as key factors in show planning. After exhaustive study, consultation and consideration, transitioning The PPAI Expo 2021 to a virtual live event was an unavoidable action, the Association says.

PPAI will post additional information on PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, including more detail on hours and the event schedule, on the event website at, and in member communications. PPAI plans to return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in 2022. The PPAI Expo 2022 will be held on January 9-13, 2022, with exhibits open January 11-13.

For additional information, view Bellantone’s video announcement and review the FAQ at For general questions about the PPAI Expo or PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, contact the PPAI Expositions department at or call 972-258-3902. Suppliers and business service providers interested in information about awareness opportunities can reach out to their business development account manager at


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.